On Wednesday 25th April, the 2012 ISSBA Suffolk Business Exhibition is taking place at Trinity Park, Ipswich. There is a genuine feel of excitement about this exhibition as it has built up a jolly good reputation over the years. Around 80 businesses will be exhibiting with an expected footfall of around 1500.
We exhibited at ISSBA last year and are looking forward to being there again in 2012 (on the Leo Design Print and Promotions Stand 32, so please come and say hello! It’s the big blue one!)
In our field of graphic design, print and promotional goods, I visit my fair share of print and promotional gift exhibitions around the country. I have to say that whilst there are many who do it very well, I do see time and time again companies that have probably spent many £’s on the event and yet still fall into some deadly traps once they are there.
As a visitor, I once spoke for 15 minutes to an exhibitor about a product I was interested in. Once we had finished talking I walked off and he hadn’t even asked for my name let alone my contact details – madness! There is a bit more to it than taking business cards, some printed leaflets and one or two promotional giveaways.
Whilst I am definitely not claiming to be an event expert, I have accumulated some really good tips over the years. Some of these have been contributed by business connections via a recent discussion that I started on Steve Clarke’s Sales Mentoring Linkedin Group. Others I have learned through bitter and painful experience!
Here are just some of the most obvious Exhibition Tips
- Plan prior to the exhibition: for the day itself and what happens afterwards!!
- Have clear objectives: what do you hope to achieve ?
- Aim to build your database: find ways of collecting your visitor’s contact details
- Have an offer on the day, an opportunity that is too good to miss
- Make sure people know immediately what you do when they see your stand
- Make sure you and team know your products
- Make sure all the team are living the brand e.g. dress code, behaviour, sending out the same message
- Don’t get too involved in conversations with your fellow colleagues on the stand, this just makes visitors feel unwelcome
- Don’t hide behind a desk, computer or phone, no eating or drinking on the stand – be approachable
- Get there early and network with the other stand holders. They might direct one or two visitors to your way
- Carry out a wash-up exercise after the exhibition. What went well? What didn’t go too well? What would you do differently next time?
- Follow up, follow up, follow up.
I am sure that everyone has their own experiences, advice and stories which will extend this list many fold, so please feel free to add your top tip to the comments section.
However, there are two more pieces of good advice to share …. ….wear comfy shoes and have fun too.
Enjoy the day.
Enjoy the conversations.
Then you will have more chance of enjoying the success !
Denise and the Leo Design Print and Promotions team